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Against the Odds: Collected Conjuring (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 281 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had a Modern Against the Odds poll themed on the colors of Strixhaven, and our honorary Prismari card Collected Conjuring came out on top. As such, we're heading to Modern today to play the other CoCo. Collected Conjuring is obviously modeled after constructed all-star Collected Company. Both cards cost four mana and let you play two things with mana value three or less from the top six cards of our library. The big difference is that Collected Conjuring hits sorceries, while Collected Company finds creatures. The biggest challenge of building around Collected Conjuring is that it's not all that easy to play a deck with 30+ sorceries—there just isn't all that much room for anything else. But with some careful deck building, it's possible, and Collected Conjuring can be quite powerful! What sorceries are best to find with Collected Conjuring? What are the odds of winning with bad CoCo in Modern? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Collected Conjuring

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The Deck

As I mentioned in the intro, by far the biggest challenge of building around Collected Conjuring is that to make the card powerful, we need around 30 sorceries with mana value three or less in our deck, which just doesn't leave much room for anything else. While there are plenty of good sorceries in Modern to fill out the deck, most of them are card-draw, removal, and other utility spells, which makes finding sorceries that can actually win us the game pretty tough. Thankfully, there are a couple of good options. Initially, my plan was to play a straight Izzet version of Collected Conjuring, but after playing a few games, I realized we really needed to splash into black for hard removal because we kept getting run over by Death's Shadow and other creatures that are big enough to dodge red burn-based removal.

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In all honesty, I've never really understood Collected Conjuring, especially when you compare it to Collected Company. Being a sorcery rather than an instant is a pretty massive downside. It almost makes me wonder if the original version of Collected Conjuring was more pushed but perhaps Wizards thought it was too powerful and had to tone it down a bit before releasing it. While being a sorcery hurts, Collected Conjuring still is quite powerful, potentially finding us six mana worth of spells for just four mana, turning it into a weird hybrid ramp-tutor spell, much like Collected Company. Outside of As Foretold (which will make more sense as we go along and talk about some of our sorceries), which is basically a backup version of Collected Conjuring, every other non-land card in our deck is a sorcery with mana value three or less so that we can find it with Collected Conjuring

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Our deck has a few plans, all tied together by Collected Conjuring. One of the most powerful things we can do is blow up our opponent's lands with Molten Rain and Pillage. In a perfect world, we'll win the die roll, blow up one of our opponent's lands on Turn 3 (putting our opponent back down to one land), and then Collected Conjuring into two more land-destruction spells on Turn 4, which will leave our opponent with zero lands to our four. Pillage also has the upside of hitting artifacts, which doesn't matter in a lot of matchups, but this can save the day if we run into a Batterskull or a Thopter Sword Combo deck.

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Ancestral Vision and See the Truth offer a ton of card advantage if we can hit them with Collected Conjuring, with either drawing us three cards, which helps us to find more copies of Collected Conjuring to do it again the next turn. The downside is that neither card is all that exciting without Collected Conjuring (or, in the case of Ancestral Vision, As Foretold, which allows us to cast it even though it doesn't have a mana cost), with See the Truth being a sorcery-speed Anticipate and Ancestral Vision being super slow if we need to suspend it and wait four turns before we get our cards. Thankfully, the upside is more than worth the drawback—once our deck gets going and we find a Collected Conjuring or two, we can draw a lot of cards and hopefully snowball our card advantage into a win.

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Speaking of winning the game, it's not all that easy in a deck made up exclusively of sorceries (and As Foretold), but we do have two specific sorceries that can add some massive creatures to the battlefield. Crashing Footfalls is a card that we are 100% committed to cheating into play with either Collected Conjuring or As Foretold since we don't even have any green mana in our deck to suspend it, although making two 4/4 tramplers is a solid deal. In theory, we can cast a single Collected Conjuring and end up with 16 power on the battlefield if we hit two copies of Crashing Footfalls. Meanwhile, Invade the City can make a massive Zombie Army thanks to amass. While it doesn't do anything in the early game because we need to fill our graveyard with spells to power it up, by the mid-game, it can usually make a 5/5 or better, and in the late game, it's very possible it can make a 20/20 for just three mana (or for free with Collected Conjuring), which is big enough to kill our opponent with just a single attack.

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Rounding out our deck are some cantrips to find our Collected Conjuring and finishers and removal to help keep us alive for long enough to execute our plan. We're splashing into black almost exclusively for Dreadbore, to give us a way to kill some of the bigger creatures in the format like Death's Shadow and Tarmogoyf, which can be really tough (or even impossible) to kill with red removal.

The Matchups

By far the hardest matchups for Collected Conjuring are counterspell-heavy control decks. Because Collected Conjuring itself is a sorcery, it's pretty tough to actually resolve it against a deck with a bunch of Remands, Archmage's Charms, and Cryptic Commands. Plus, even if we do resolve a Collected Conjuring and make some big creatures with Crashing Footfalls or See the Truth, our opponent likely can kill or wrath them away, and since we technically have just seven cards that can make creatures that can win us the game, we risk running out of threats and ending up getting milled out. Aggro decks are the opposite—our land-destruction plan is bad, but our big creatures are good, assuming we can resolve a Collected Conjuring before we die. Overall, it felt like Collected Conjuring is a deck that doesn't have any truly good matchups, but it's also a deck that has some chance in most matchups. 

The Odds

As far as our video matches, we finished 2-3, but I played a few more matches with the deck and didn't win any, which means the overall record is worse. The good news is that the deck mostly was competitive. Even when we lost, we often took the match to three games and made it close, and when we did lose, it was often in a hilarious way (somehow, we got Boiled in two different matches and lost to the mythical triple–Archive Trap hand on Turn 1 against Mill). 

As for Collected Conjuring itself, it feels like a card that is really close to being good. We certainly saw its power multiple times, hitting two Crashing Footfalls or land-destruction spells. If it was an instant like Collected Company is, it could be a legitimate Modern playable, but if it were a legitimate Modern playable, we probably wouldn't be playing it on Against the Odds, so maybe it's better this way. Basically, Collected Conjuring is powerful, but being a sorcery makes it really easy for some decks to disrupt, and finding enough good, cheap sorceries to power it up is tricky, even though it can do some really sweet, fun things!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

No poll this week! Don't worry, it will be back next episode!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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